Counselling, psychotherapy and supervision in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
I am a psychotherapist and counsellor with a private practice in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. I am a senior therapist at the 'Mindtalk' group in Market Harborough, and also provide professional group or individual supervision to other therapists. I work with sensitivity and respect together with you, to offer help in the face of particular problems or the most prolonged and intense difficulties.
For example, I work with the following issues:
Stress and anxiety
Problems with confidence, self-esteem
Dealing with loss
Family and parenting difficulties
Problems at work
Eating disorders, self harm
Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress
Unresolved issues from the past, abuse
Dreams and nightmares
I provide caring and sensitive counselling and psychotherapy for a wide range of problems and blocks and use psychotherapy for growth and life's enhancement. My approach is transpersonal and integrative, including the use of EMDR when appropriate - see the FAQ page for an explanation. You can see a video of me introducing myself on YouTube.
If you live or work in Leicester, Northampton or near Market Harborough in Leicestershire and are interested in counselling or psychotherapy, supervision or EMDR, to discuss how I might be able to help you please contact me and I will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.
My approach is guided by you, and depends on trust in the relationship. Sometimes therapy looks like 'just talking' - although a great deal is going on in that process, with the client doing most of the talking as they explore their thoughts and feelings about the issues they bring.
As counsellor and psychotherapist in Market Harborough between Leicester and Northampton my practice is located in discreet cosy rooms with easy parking right in the town center.
Below I outline two other aspects of the way I sometimes work.
Working through body awareness
Increasingly, I have become convinced that an effective, gentle and profound way to access real and permanent change is through working with the way feelings and traumatic reactions become trapped in the body. Many of us go through life in the mistaken belief that the key to control how we feel is by the power of our rational mind. However our mind-body link is much more complex than this. By gently guiding the client to bring sensations to awareness as they are sharing their thoughts and feelings, and working with them positively it is possible to create release from trauma which may have unconsciously been trapped for years. How this looks is like the client simply sitting in their chair, concentrating on the sensations in their body, and sharing with, being watched and guided by the therapist. The release of previously trapped feeling is experienced as a sense of gentle expansion, of awareness of the wider room and the world outside in Market Harborough, and a shift to lightness of mood, pleasant humour and a sense of connection both inside the self, and to the therapist and others. There is a wealth of neurological research - polyvagal theory is one angle, Somatic Experiencing another - to explain and support why and how this works.
Working with dreams and images
Have a look at my Articles and Workshops page to read about the value of working with dreams. Their powerful images, feelings, and their freedom from the 'sense' imposed by your consious self offer a way to connect with yourself - that 'aha! awareness - that we simply can't gain by ourselves or with the aid of books. The purpose is not to impose a generalised meaning, but instead to find the meaning that is unique to the individual, through exploring by way of the dreamer's own associations. Often the deep meaning is accessed by making contact with with the essence of feeling in the dream. When a deeper level of connection with self is made, change happens.
I regularly run a series of experiential workshops for counsellors and therapists in Market Harborough and Little Venice, Central London, on Working with Dreams.
Endorsements: "Brilliant day, enjoyed it, left feeling uplifted, not overwhelmed. Pace of day was just right." "Really enjoyed the day and powerful learning", "Stimulating and valuable content, practical and helpful in my work", "Very useful content. Great to put into practise.
Do enquire if you would like to know more. For counsellors and psychotherapists and those in training.
This month's blog: Anxiety and the Holidays
The Holidays can provoke much anxiety. The long period of anticipation before they actually arrive can be deeply stressful to those of us who are responsible for providing the framework of hospitality for our families and friends, or for contributing to it. A part of our mind tells us that the holidays should be a time of care-free relaxation and happy connection with our loved ones, yet another ‘responsible’ or rearward looking part burdens us with worries which destroy our peace. How can we release ourselves from the grip of this monster? How can we ‘take care of business’ whilst also feeling able to enjoy our sense of connection with others, sensory aliveness and fun?
What is anxiety?
Anxiety believes it can prepare you to avoid suffering in the future, which it can’t.
It is psychological fear, which comes from our thoughts. It is experienced in the body as an uncomfortable churning or tightness, usually in the chest, stomach or solarplexus. It prevents sleep, causes repetitive and racing thoughts, narrows our focus so that we may feel like a hamster on a wheel. It usually has something to do with our sense of Self and our identity, or it involves controlling our suffering that is connected with the past, and desire to avoid suffering in the future. That suffering might be connected with emotional pain, or a sense of meaninglessness.
Fear is a survival response which is perfectly sensible when the threat is there in the present moment and you need to take action quickly: for example there is a car approaching that might crash into you, or someone is angry and you are not safe. Anxiety is our attempt to anticipate threats in the future: for example “If I drive the car tomorrow I might have an accident”, or “When I host the party tonight I might be judged by the group because I will …(not be good enough)….”, “If I have a serious health issue I might die”.
Anxiety engages the problem solving ‘what can I do about this’ part of our brains, to the exclusion of the kinder, social, compassionate part which provides respite; a sense of support and belonging; and mediates with the purely survival oriented functions of our biology.
Fear, anxiety and the Body
Psychological fear has the same stimulus effect on the body as fear prompted by something happening in the present moment. The body does not know the difference and produces adrenalin and other hormonal responses to speed up breath and heart rate, withdraw blood circulation from non-essential functions, tighten muscles, reduce brain function and narrows perception to only survival-necessary activity.
Beyond the circumstances of the present time and future, notice if you have an underlying belief that it’s not OK to be happy, or not OK to relax and be well. Perhaps you have an underlying belief that you need to keep worrying in order to hold the world in order, or to be necessary to your loved ones, or to compensate for something you are ashamed of in your past. Pause and enquire if that is really true. Give yourself permission to let go of the old stuff, just for now. Notice the difference it makes in your body.
It’s amazing what a difference it makes simply to focus attention and thoughts on the present moment, noticing the world around you ‘right here and now’. (eg. I love the way the light falls on that object right now… I am grateful right now for…)
Notice how much of your conversation is about problem solving or teaching something. Notice how this article is doing exactly that and lets laugh about it together! Cut down on the problem solving and teaching attitude, and balance yourself with conversations that are emotionally intimate and connecting, subjective and self-reflective. A counsellor or psychotherapist can provide this.
When planning for yourself, set concrete goals rather than abstract ones. eg. Concrete goal: Do a particular task on your list. Learn about something that interests you. Make something that satisfies you in the process itself. Abstract goal: I am going to create the most perfect Christmas experience. I am going to have the best veggie garden in the allotment. I am going to be an A grade student, a successful professional.
Much anxiety is created by the attempt to avoid difficult feelings and emotions. Defence mechanisms might include denial, insincere positivity, or a prickly defensiveness to avoid certain feelings or awareness. Anxiety cannot thrive in an attitude of willingness to experience the emotions that arise naturally - both painful as well as good. Counselling and psychotherapy offer a safe and confidential space to be supported as you disentangle yourself from the thoughts that drive the anxiety, allow the emotions, and in the process this allows a deepening of intimacy and sense of connection which is an antidote to fear and isolation.
So as we approach the holidays, enjoy this graceful piece by Max Ehrmann, written between the Wars.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
My counselling and psychotherapy, supervision and EMDR are based in Market Harborough in Leicestershire within easy reach of Leicester, Northampton, Peterborough, Kettering, Corby, Uppingham, Melton Mowbray, Oakham and Rutland.
BACP registered counsellor and psychotherapist – UKCP accredited